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From Localized Excited States to Excitons: Changing of Conceptions of Primary Photosynthetic Processes in the Twentieth Century

R. Y. Pishchalnikov1,2 and A. P. Razjivin1*

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, 119992 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 939-3181; E-mail: razjivin@belozersky.msu.ru; razjivin@gmail.com

2Prokhorov General Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Wave Research Center, ul. Vavilova 38, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 135-0270; E-mail: rpishchal@kapella.gpi.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received November 22, 2013; Revision received December 13, 2013
A short description of two theories of the primary photosynthetic processes is given. Generally accepted in 1950s-1990s, the localized excited states theory has been changed to the modern exciton theory. Appearance of the new experimental data and the light-harvesting complex crystal structure are reasons why the exciton theory has become important. The bulk of data for the old theory and outstanding experiments that have been the driving force for a new theory are discussed in detail.
KEY WORDS: photosynthesis, energy transfer, excitons, light-harvesting antenna, Redfield’s theory

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297914030109